By Ruth Limkin
I have recently written about some of the difficulties faced by women in India. However, with the release of the latest census figures in this populous nation, a much darker trend has been revealed.
India has a long and terrible history of killing it’s baby girls when they are infants. They are suffocated, poisoned, drowned or left to die. The term for it is infanticide. The truth of it is heartbreaking.
Now, a rising trend in sex-determination tests has meant India’s aversion to letting little girls live has accelerated, with abortions of baby girls leading to a growing gender imbalance in the nation.
In children under six years of age, there are only 913 girls for every 1000 boys. The gap between the numbers of boys and girls is growing, in spite of government education programs to counter this alarming trend.
Also of concern is the fact the gender imbalance is worse in areas with better literacy and higher prosperity.
As reported in The Australian, Urvashi Butali, the head of publishing house Zubaan, said, “Are we really a nation that so hates its female population that, despite being aware of what the absence of women can mean for any society, we continue to kill them even before they are born? The truth is that a country that so devalues its women does not deserve to pride itself on its economic growth, if it’s a growth built on the mass murder of its girl children.”
All children deserve care and nurture.
When they are denied such because of cultural, gender, social or economic reasons, we are all the poorer for it.
It just seems easier to recognise when it’s not within our nation.